It’s a moment of panic we’ve all had at some point. You reach for your phone or device and it’s not there. You try to call yourself from another phone but you don’t hear your phone ring. Fear not! There is a way you can locate your device, even if it’s in a different location.
Apple has an app called Find My. By default, it comes pre-installed on all devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch).
Setting Up Find My on an iPhone or iPad
There are various ways you can access Find My. The first step is to make sure that it’s enabled on your device.
On an iPhone or iPad, go into the Settings app, and then tap on your name at the top.
From there, tap on Find My on the next screen.
Next, you can verify if Find My is on for that particular device. You can also choose to turn it off if you’d like. If you have more than one Apple device, it will show which device is sharing your location with friends and family you have chosen to share your location with. If you are sharing your location with anyone, they will be listed below underneath family (if you have set up Apple Family Sharing) or friends.
Tapping on Find My iPhone/iPad gives you more options, including the option to turn off Find My (note you will need to enter your Apple ID password if you want to turn it off). Find My Network lets you locate your device even if it’s offline. Send last location sends the location of the device to Apple if the battery is very low.
Setting Up Find My on a Mac
To set up Find My on your Mac, click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of the taskbar and then click on System Preferences. Next, click on Internet Accounts. On the left panel, click on iCloud and then scroll down to Find My. Click on the Options button next to Find My. The options below apply to Mac OS Monterey and later.
Here you can see if Find My Mac is on and you can also choose the option to locate your Mac even if it’s offline. You have the option to turn both of these off. Keep in mind that to turn off Find My Mac, you will need to enter your Apple ID password.
Setting Up Find My on Apple Watch and Other Devices
By default, Find My is automatically set up on an Apple Watch when you pair it with your iPhone for the first time. For more information on using Find My with your Apple Watch, Apple has written up a great how-to article.
Additionally, Find My is automatically turned on when you pair your AirPods with your iPhone or iPad for the first time.
Using Find My
Now that it’s been set up, you can easily locate your missing devices in several ways. On an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can open the Find My App, which has an icon that looks like this:
On a Mac, the Find My app is located in the Launch Pad by default.
When you open the app, you will see a map, along with a dock on the bottom. On the bottom dock, tapping the people icon shows friends and family who have shared their location with you and their locations. The devices tab shows mini icons of your devices and their locations on a map. Your family’s devices are also displayed if you have set up Apple Family Sharing. The items tab is for Find My compatible items such as AirTags. The Me button (on an iPhone and iPad) shows your location and from which device the location comes, as well as the option to turn off sharing your location. On a Mac, these tabs are located on the top left.
Finding a Device on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac
To find a device, tap on the devices tab and then tap on the name of the device you want to locate. It will zoom into the device’s location on a map and give you the address of your device. You’ll have the option to play a sound, which may help if you are near your device’s location.
Finding a Device with a Web Browser
If you only have one Apple device, don’t worry, there is another way you can locate your lost device. Go onto a web browser on a laptop, desktop computer, or another mobile device, and navigate to iCloud.com. Next, click or tap on sign in. Log in with your Apple ID and password. Don’t worry if you have two-factor authentication enabled, simply click or tap the Find Devices on the lower left.
Enter your password again, and then a map will appear. Click on all devices in the top center, and select a device to locate. A map will zoom into the location of your device. There are options to play a sound, put the device into lost mode, or remotely erase the device in the case of an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.
Putting a Device into Lost Mode
If you cannot find your device, or if it has been stolen, there is also the option to mark the device as lost or remotely erase it. Marking the device as lost causes the following to happen: you will receive a notification on your other devices when its location is available, the activation lock will be enabled so no one can reset your device and link it to their account, a passcode will be required if they try to turn it on, any payments (such as Apple Wallet or Apple Pay) will be suspended, and you will have the option to leave a message on your device displaying a phone number where you can be contacted.
A device can be put into lost mode from any of the Find My apps or on iCloud.com.
Finding a Device with Apple Watch or with Siri
To find a device with your Apple Watch, check out this helpful article from Apple. If you are in the same location as your device but aren’t sure where it is, you can ask Siri to find it if you have a second Apple device. Simply say, “Hey Siri, where’s my [device name]?” If it’s nearby, she will respond, “your [device name] is nearby, pinging it now” and she will play a sound on the device you’re looking for, including AirPods. If your device is not within range, she will say she can’t find it and suggest that you use the Find My app.
Have you used Find My to locate a device? Let us know in the comments!